Expedited case processing is when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives a decision on the visa application sooner than its normal processing time. Expedited processing is especially helpful when there are some emergencies and sudden changes in the personal life of the applicant. It takes 3 to 5 weeks for a US visa application to get processed. After the processing, the applicant can get a positive reply on their application. If there is an urgent need to expedite the case due to a certain emergency, you may be able to submit an expedite request to USCIS for a quicker application decision. There is no fee to make a request. The criteria required by USCIS for the expedite request are extreme humanitarian need or potential harm to a U.S person or company if the application is not expedited, medical emergency for treatment, or any other emergency.
WHEN CAN I EXPEDITE MY CASE WITH USCIS?
The USCIS decides on a case-to-case basis whether a case is a fit for expedited processing. Every applicant can request expedite the process to USCIS. The USCIS decides on certain criteria, to see if the case requires or is appropriate for the expedited process. The applicant must submit supporting documents to prove the case.
Let’s discuss when can USCIS consider a case for the expedited process.
- Clear USCIS error – Sometimes USCIS makes a mistake on the immigration application while processing it. If the applicant can prove it, then the USCIS most likely may approve the request for the expedited process. For eg the USCIS may put incorrect dates, which reduces the validity of the status. The USCIS in these cases will accept the request for the expedited process.
- Urgent Humanitarian Reasons – There is no fixed definition for an emergency or an urgent situation. It depends on the case and the situation faced by the applicant. The applicant has to prove that there is an emergency or urgency on health grounds or a grave illness of a family member who requires immediate treatment in the U.S. the USCIS in these cases can approve the case for the expedite process.
- Severe Financial Loss to a Person or a Company – If a person can prove that any person or the applicant or any company will suffer huge financial loss if USCIS will not give a decision on one’s case early. The applicant has to prove that the case was filed on time and may require to submit additional documents in support of the financial loss to the company in the U.S or to any person.
- Compelling U.S. Government Interests – If the application impacts U.S. national interests, government interests, or public safety in some way, then the USCIS might most likely approve the case for the expedite process. In these cases, the U.S. government or agency concerned should make the expedited processing request for the applicant. The concerned U.S. agency has to prove that a delay in processing will be detrimental to national interest in some way or another.
WHEN CAN USCIS NOT GIVE PERMISSION TO EXPEDITE?
It is not always necessary that USCIS will accept every application for the expedited process. It depends on the cases which the USCIS thinks to require to expedite the process on the above-mentioned grounds. If an applicant has requested premium processing on his application, the same applicant cannot apply for expedited processing on the same application. The premium processing service is USCIS expedited processing service that is available for some employment-based applications. This means if an applicant has filled FORM I-129 or FORM I-140, then the applicant cannot apply for expedited processing.
PROCESS TO EXPEDITE MY CASE
Once it is confirmed by the applicant that his/her case has a qualifying reason for expedite processing, the applicant should submit the request for the expedited process. Below are the steps discussed in the process.
- First is the receipt notice. After a petition for the visa is filed, the applicant receives a receipt notice after two weeks. This is very important for requesting to expedite the process.
- The second step is to call USCIS.
- The third step is to speak to tier1/tier2 officer for making the request.
- Fourth is the applicant should make a request and get an expedited service request number. After the officer gets all the details from the applicant, the officer gives an expedite service request number which the applicant should save.
- The applicant should keep a track of the application with the numbers on the USCIS website.
- The next step is that after the request for an expedited process is made, the applicant will receive an email to submit supporting documents for expedite request.
- After the applicant submits the supporting documents, in less than a week generally the final decision from USCIS comes on the application.
Thus, we saw that expediting the process is not a complicated process for the person applying. The most important thing is to apply on time for the process and next is the reason for expediting should be such which is acceptable by the USCIS. It is also important to submit documents in support of the reason which has been given for expediting the process.
If the applicant’s reason is accepted by the USCIS for expediting the process, it does not take much time for issuing a visa.
On June 9, USCIS announced a series of policy updates and reinstated a specific category for non-profit organizations. This allows non-profit organizations can first try for an expedite request, as the premium processing fees are hefty. As non-profit organizations are operated for a collective public or social benefit, so expanding the criteria for expediting the process by including organizations seeking to project the cultural and social interests of the U.S.